May 31, 2008

“An American Crime” (2007)

what is it about?
True story of a child abuse cum homicide case in America. (the previously reviewed fictional film “The Girl Next Door” was based on this true story)

the plot?
2 sisters were sent by their estranged parents to live at the home of a lady (the perpetrator) whom they acquainted from the church. Laden with poverty and desperate for money to feed her kids, the lady agreed to take in both the girls with a fee from the girls’ constant traveling parents (carnival workers of some sort). But when the parents were late on their payment, the lady started to channel her depression and angst onto one of the girls… starting with some minor abuses, into inhumane tortures, and eventually, leading to the girl’s death. It was pretty sick stuff.

– Nil

– The killer being portrayed as an attractive and sympathetic character. Unfortunately, I’ve read the the story before watching this movie. Gerty Baniszewski in real person, looks like an exhumed corpse of an opium addict and nothing like Catherine Keener.
– I did not like the way the tortures were presented in this flick. It was not detailed enough. The real Gerty did a lot of pretty nasty things to that girl back then. I think it is kind of an injustice by not revealing the complete truth here.
– the dramatic twist to the whole storyline was not good for me. The part where Sylvia seeing herself dying was totally unnecessary. The participation of Gerty’s children on the crime was grossly under-portrayed. etc.
– I didn’t like the way the story was told in a truncated manner (panning between present and past). It made me lost the sense of time, and it was as if the whole ordeal happened on the same day.

– the flick was too fucking boring to have spoilers.

The flick’s boring. I reckon that the producer was trying to put some depth in Baniszewski’s character, which I think was lame. I had much stronger feelings watching “The Girl Next Door” compared to this. 4/10

michaelooi  | movie reviews  | 

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